Sunday, July 06, 2008

Kewell Ready For New Chapter

Harry Kewell revealed Galatasaray were the pick of several clubs interested in him after signing a two-year deal with the Turkish champions on Saturday.

The 29-year-old arrived in Istanbul on Friday evening before putting pen to paper on a deal after five seasons at Liverpool.

Kewell turned down a contract offer with Liverpool in May and entered the current transfer window as a free agent, with many clubs across Europe chasing his services.

He was reported to be heading to Celtic, Italy's Roma or English Premier League side Portsmouth, but Kewell admitted Galatasaray quickly won him over.

"They're a great club," he told Sky Sports News. "They showed faith from the very start.

"There were other clubs out there but they were persistent and treated me very courteously.

"There are a lot of nice people over here, it's a great country and I'm looking forward to it.

"There were a few other clubs involved, other English clubs, but Galatasaray showed a lot of faith in me and were very strong from the start and that's why I signed for them.

"It's a new chapter for me, I'm looking forward to it. They've got a great young squad, I'm looking forward to meeting with the boys and training with them."

Kewell played against Galatasaray eight years ago when he was with Leeds in a UEFA Cup semi-final which was overshadowed by the stabbing to death of two Leeds fans on the eve of the match in Istanbul.

His move to the club has attracted criticism from Leeds fans, but Kewell is hoping the negative press will be short-lived.

"It was a tragic thing what happened but we can't live in the past," he continued.

"We've got to look to the future and that's what I'm concentrating on.

"I gave a good nine years to Leeds and left on good terms, there shouldn't be any bad feeling."

The move to Turkey also seems set to end Australia's hopes Kewell would represent them at the Olympics in Beijing next month.

The striker had said if he was without a club, he would consider representing the Olyroos as one of their three over-age players.

But Kewell admits the decision is no longer in his hands.

"The Olympics Games depended on whether I had a club or not," he explained.

"Now I do and it's down to Galatasaray (whether I play). If they want me to go then fair enough but my first priority is to play for Galatasaray."

Agent: Cavalieri Going To Anfield

The agent of Brazilian goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri has revealed that Liverpool have been given permission by Palmeiras to open talks with the player, with regard to a transfer to Anfield.

Juninho Parmigiani stated that the two clubs were set to agree the details for a deal involving the 26-year-old, who has been at Palestra Italia since the beginning of his career. Both player and agent are ready to make the trip to England to finalise terms with Rafael Beintez’s side.

Parmigiani claimed: "Palmeiras' board released Diego to negotiate with Liverpool and we are going to fly to define the last details. We still cannot say that everything is closed because there are some things between Liverpool and Palmeiras and other details in the contract.

"I believe everything is going to be solved this weekend. If everything goes as it was agreed, he is going to sign the contract and be introduced."

Cavalieri has yet to be capped for the Brazilian national team, but has caught the eye of a number of European clubs nonetheless. Internazionale were said to have run the rule over the goalkeeper in 2005, before ultimately opting for Julio Cesar.

Should Cavalieri arrive at Anfield, it may well push Scott Carson further towards the exit door; the 22-year-old has spent the past three seasons on loan away from the club, and Beintez is willing to part with the English international should a sufficient bid materialise.

Finnan Key To Barry Deal

Steve Finnan has emerged as the key component in the deal which may finally see Gareth Barry make the move from Aston Villa to Liverpool, reports the News of the World.

The two clubs are currently haggling over the transfer fee for Barry with Liverpool having reportedly offered £15 million for the Villa captain, whilst Aston Villa value him nearer the £17 million mark.

The protracted transfer has taken an ugly turn in recent weeks with Barry having been disciplined by Villa after comments he was reported to have made in a newspaper. His career at Villa Park is clearly over and it looks as though finally he may be granted his wish to join Liverpool.

With Benitez determined to add Barry to his ranks it now appears that Liverpool are willing to offer veteran full back Steve Finnan as part of the deal and with Martin O’Neill apparently an admirer of the defender, an agreement may finally be close.

The paper quotes a Liverpool source as saying: “There has been so much haggling in the past week and the mood has been very tense at times but both sides seem to be close to deal.”

Finnan signed for Liverpool from Fulham in 2003 and has made almost 150 appearances for the club winning Champions League and FA Cup medals.

However, the Irishman lost his place in the starting line-up towards the end of last season, making only nine league appearances in 2008, which has led to speculation that he no longer features in manager Rafael Benitez’s plans.

This speculation has increased this summer as Benitez has brought in extra defensive in the shape of Philipp Degen and Andrea Dossena. With Finnan likely to be guaranteed first team football at Villa Park it is unlikely he will reject a move away from Anfield.

Jamie Carragher Not Yet Ready To Tip Liverpool As Title Contenders

Jamie Carragher will only consider Liverpool title challengers next season if they are still in the hunt with 15 games remaining.

It is almost two decades since the Reds were champions of England and veteran defender Carragher has been involved for more than half of that period.

In recent years, Liverpool have been among the favourites to lift the Barclays Premier League crown when the season kicks off but their challenge has invariably faltered.

“People always talk about us pushing for the league, but to be honest it isn’t very often that we’ve even challenged,” Carragher told the club’s official website,

“If we were challenging with 10 or 15 games to go then who knows?

“But just a challenge this season would be nice, to still be in the hunt.

“I think it’s only happened once since I’ve been in the team, when I played a few games under Roy Evans (in 1996-97).

“We probably should have won the league but let it slip towards the end.

“But since then, we’ve never even challenged, so that’s something we’re all looking for.”

Carragher, who has won every major domestic and European honour apart from the Premier League, added: “I’d take a title medal over anything else at the moment because that would make my full set, but I just want to be competitive in the league.”

Liverpool’s major problem in recent seasons has been their inability to get the better of their head to heads with title rivals Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

However, Carragher said: “They’re big games, but it’s not just about beating Manchester United or the other so-called big teams. I don’t go along with that.

“Manchester United lost twice to Manchester City (last season), which no-one expected, so who knows?”

Centre-back Carragher, 30, has made himself an automatic selection at Anfield but he could face competition this season from Martin Skrtel and the fit-again Daniel Agger.

But the Bootle-born stopper has no intention of giving up his place.

“I’ve had a few seasons like that over the years where the competition for places has been intense,” he said.

“But that’s what it’s about at Liverpool. It’s about the battle for your place and I’m prepared to fight and battle as well as anyone.

“I expected to play in the past and I expect to play again next season.

“Every day you go into training, you feel as though you have to prove yourself all over again, although to be honest I don’t think I’ll change anything. I always work hard and I’ll continue to do so.”

Murphy Backs Carragher For Management

Fulham midfielder Danny Murphy has tipped his former Liverpool team-mate Jamie Carragher to make the transition into management at the end of his career.

Carragher has long been regarded among the Reds faithful as top-notch coaching material, with many suggesting his leadership and organisational skills far surpass that of club captain Steven Gerrard.

The 30-year-old, though often criticised for his lack of prowess in possession, has earned endless plaudits for what he does behind the play – his ability to rally the troops, to bite his team-mates’ heads off when they need biting and to arrange the rearguard.

And Murphy, who spent seven seasons at Anfield, believes it is his ex-England colleague’s passion for the game that will see him succeed on the managerial front in the future.

“Jamie Carragher is probably the main candidate; he'll be a good manager,” Murphy told “He knows more about football than anyone I know.”